|Hiking||11.75 Miles|| 8 Hrs 15 Mns || ||1.62 mph|
|2,778 ft AEG|| 1 Hour Break|| || |
On this day of cool 61* temps, nice breezes, some sun, but just a bit before random clouds raced to give us shade this hike "Rocked!". We chased some rain clouds out of the area as we started our hike a little after 9. We were only 20' on to the trail when one of the local burros, high on a cliff to the north trumpeted our arrival. His braying was loud and hysterically obnoxious. We could stand there and laugh. Finally he stopped and just stared at us. We could barely see the white of his face but it's steadfastness let us know we were being watched!
Another hundred feet and the trail drops down crossing a wash feeding the canyon and then back up the other side. We got to the top and already we flushed out a pack of Javelina. It was gonna be a fun day.
The trail is awesome and maneuvers through the terrain with minimal effort and easy to follow. We made it to the saddle with most of the effort of course at the base of 3465. The wind got a little overbearing so ate lunch huddling in some rocks. We debated whether it was worth the effort to summit today with all the winds and ultimately decided to chance it for as long as it was bearable. We made it to the lower peak and shy by 1/4 mile or so of a full summit. Doing so exposed us to the winds again and by now we had had already some magnificent views of Lake Pleasant, ridiculous views to the north of places I don't yet know the names of. Very exciting. Feeling like this hike had already payed off we decided to save a full summit for another day.
After returning to the saddle and dropping down to the next bench we saw our next widly. We surprised a solitary Javelina maybe only 20' from us on what is a fairly small bench. You could hear guttural sounds of breath as his strides impacted the ground forcing the air out of his lungs. It was impressive how fast he was going. He jumped over the cliffs edge and we could hear him as scrambled down the wash on the north side. For humans the sane trail is on the south side of the bench so we kept to the trail.
At this point I have had 3 different animal sightings and no photos to show for it. Things needed to change. I set my camera up so that from now on I was gonna be "Quick-draw McGraw". If I approached a wash, or rounded a corner, or broke horizon my camera would go first.
I managed spy what I suspect was spring area with some lush grass, I snuck up to the edge to catch a bull grazing in the below. I managed to get off a few shots before it noticed us and freaked. Luckily we were high and safe.
Saw some cardinals, and several jackrabbits. Then suddenly we hearing a grunting sound. Turned out to be another Burro. This time much closer, maybe 200' feet. It was obviously telling us to go away. But the trail actually took us even closer before turning. He had the high ground and was grunting at us. The trail actually circled around the east side of his hill. We lost sight of him but I was certain that when we got around to the front of the hill he'd be watching and he was. We ended up seeing two more cows but that was about it.
Lots of fun back in here!
|The Tree of Understanding, dazzling, straight, and simple, sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It. - Wislawa Szymborska, "Utopia"|